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Naked City (1958)
One of the best cop shows of the genre from the golden age of television...the Emmy award winning "Naked City"
Few shows in television history have sustained a high level of directing as well as acting,production and writing. The anthology series "Naked City" was one example of just how fine a great television series was during that time. "Naked City" produced by Sterling Silliphant and Herbert B. Leonard under his production company Shelle Productions for Screen Gems Television/ABC-TV ran for four seasons on the air with the exception of it's first season which lasted one season and 39 episodes that aired from its premiere on September 30,1958 until June 23,1959. It was the first series to be filmed on location within New York City and was in classic black and white with locations filmed at the Biograph Studios and in sections of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and other areas. During the 1958-1959 season the two principal players was James Franciscus and John McIntyre. This half-hour version of "Naked City" was canceled by ABC after one season. Then on October 12,1960,an hour long version of "Naked City" premiered with Paul Burke and Horace McMahon replacing James Franciscus and John McIntyre. This hour long version lasted three seasons producing 99 episodes,all in classic black and white that aired from October 12,1960 until May 29,1963. In all,a total of 138 episodes were produced for ABC.
During the show's fantastic run,it included some of the best writers and best actors in television history and it shows in the Four Prime-Time Emmys it won for Best Drama Series (1959,1961,1962,1963),and was nominated for three Golden Globes as Best Prime-Time Drama Series in 1962.
The best writers for this series came from Frank R. Pierson to Barry Trivers, Howard Rodman, Richard Levinson, Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, to Sy Salkowitz, Stanley Kallis, Sterling Silliphant, Charles Beaumont, Alvin Sargent, Ken Kolb among others who contribute to some of the great episodes.
Some of the best top-notch directors ranging from newcomers like Sydney Pollack to Richard Donner and future Hollywood director Arthur Hiller to such greats as David Lowell Rich, Jack Smight, William Conrad, Paul Wendkos, Bernard McEveety, Robert Gist, Paul Stanley, James Sheldon, Boris Segal, Irvin Kershner, Ralph Senensky, Harry Harris, Vincent McEveety, to Lawrence Dobkin and Marc Daniels among others. But what made the show stand out was the acting were some episodes were nothing short of breathtaking but were absolutely incredible.
This series was a showcase for up and coming actors who made their debuts here ranging from Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Brock Peters, Dabney Coleman, Jessica Walter, Eli Wallach, Peter Falk, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Roddy McDowell, Martin Sheen, Diane Ladd, Christopher Walken, to Jon Voight, Robert Duvall, William Shatner, James MacArthur, Burt Reynolds, Telly Savalas, Susan Oliver, Leonard Nimoy to future up and coming actors like Sandy Dennis, James Caan, George Segal to Robert Blake, Valerie Harper, Brenda Vaccaro, Greg Morris, to Ivan Dixon and Vic Morrow. Others were Suzanne Pleshette, Felicia Farr, Jack Klugman, Burgess Meredith, Godfrey Cambridge, Jack Lord, Leslie Nielsen, to Gilbert Roland, Carroll O' Connor, David Janssen, Cicely Tyson, Hari Rhodes, Ricardo Montalban to others like Barry Morse, Jan Sterling, Janice Rule, Piper Laurie, Diahann Carroll, to guest stars Jo Van Fleet, Edward Asner, Jack Lord, Constance Ford, to others like Herschel Bernardi, Eileen Heckhart, James Coburn, Dick York, Maureen Stapleton, Robert Culp, Cliff Robertson, Robert Vaughn to Lee Grant, Charles Bronson, Lois Nettleton, Walter Matthau, Sylvia Sidney, to George Maharis, Martin Milner, Mark Goddard, Glenn Corbett, Barbara Eden, George C. Scott, and a rare appearance by the famed acting teacher Sanford Meisner and one episode had a rare guest star appearance featuring Dorothy Dandridge. The show also had the rare occasion for actors who were just starting out and one episode had future television actor Conrad Bain in a small role along with future Oscar winning actress Faye Dunaway in bit parts.
"Naked City" was a series that featured a "ethnicity" of fine acting in various roles and for an anthology drama it did not stray away from several subject matters even though this was one of the great cop shows ever produced from television's golden age.
It Takes a Thief (1968)
The last of the great espionage shows of the 1960's starring Robert Wagner as International Man of Mystery Alexander Mundy
The television series "It Takes A Thief" came in as a mid-season replacement for ABC-TV that ran for three seasons airing from its premiere episode on January 9,1968 until the series finale on March 24,1970. A total of 66 episodes were produced all in color. "It Takes A Thief",much like its precessdors like "The Man From U.N.C.L.E","The Saint","I Spy",and other shows filmed on location,the Universal Studios backlot was Paris,Istanbul,Rome,London for its first two seasons,but the producers thought it would be a great idea in its third and final season to filmed episodes on location in Italy,Greece,and France.
"It Takes A Thief" was the last of the espionage shows of the 1960's,only to be clipped by "Mission:Impossible" which continued onward into the early-1970's.
"It Takes A Thief" was created by television writer Roland Kibbee,and the series featured the adventures of an international cat burglar,pickpocket,and thief Alexander Mundy(Robert Wagner),who steals to finance his life as a polished playboy and sophisticate. He is in prison with the U.S. Government's secret intelligence agency proposes a deal to Mundy: steal for the government in exchange for his freedom. Mundy is puzzled,and asks,"Let me get this straight. You want me to steal?" In the opening titles,his boss,Noah Bain(Malachi Throne for Seasons 1 and 2 only)uses the catch phrase,"Oh,look,Al,I'm not asking you to spy.I'm just asking you to steal." Malachi Throne was replaced in Season 3 by Edward Binns. Veteran stage and film actor Fred Astaire joins the cast in Season 3 for five episodes as Alistair Mundy,Alexander's father,who was also a international thief as well.
Creator and producer Roland Kibbee(a television writer who wrote and produced classic shows like "Leave It To Beaver","The Deputy","Laredo", "The Munsters",and "McHale's Navy")along with executive producers like Frank Price, Jack Arnold, and Glen A. Larson produced a weekly espionage series like no other and it shows in some of the earlier episodes of the series that was a favorite with the college crowd. Action packed episodes and exciting stories kept viewers tuned in each week where Robert Wagner's character is sent by his boss from the S.I.A. for a range of dangerous,yet sometimes various assignments with the notion of saving the world from disaster while making a fashion statement. This show had it all. Beautiful women,exotic locations,dangerous assignments while dealing with diabolical villains. No matter what Al Mundy went he could be the playboy who knew the best bistro in Cannes,the grooviest discotheque bar in Piccadilly,and the best casinos in Monaco and Las Vegas while saving the world and making a statement doing so while being the "cool" of the "coolest" secret agent.
About this show. "It Takes A Thief" was moved around to different time slots during its run. Season 1 aired on Tuesday nights at 8:30e/7:30c where it opposite Diahann Carroll's "Julia",and the long-running "The Red Skelton Show". For the remainder of Seasons 2 thru 3,ABC moved the series from Tuesday nights to Thursday nights at the 10:00e/9:00c time slot opposite NBC's "The Dean Martin Show",and "The CBS Thursday Night Movie".
About the episodes. Before Rock Hudson,actress Susan Saint James appeared in five episodes of this series which includes the "Pilot" episode,along with "When Thieves Fall In","It Takes One To Know One", "Payoff In The Piazza",and "The Susie Simone Caper". Actress Charlene Holt appear in three episodes of the series.
The guest star roster consisted of Hollywood greats like Joesph Cotten(in a two-part episode "Hans Across The Border" from Season 2),to Bette Davis("A Touch Of Magic" from Season 3),and Paul Heinreid. Other guest stars included Peter Sellers("Who'll Bid Two Million Dollars" from Season 3),to Wagner romancing a different femme fatale each week from Tisha Sterling,Tina Louise,Petula Clark,Stefanie Powers,Joey Heatherton(in a two-part episode "A Matter of Grey",from Season 2),to even linked to a interracial fling with Marilyn McCoo of the Fifth Dimension("To Sing A Song of Murder" from Season 3),and the lists goes on and on. Other guest stars included Cesar Romero,Frankie Avalon,Lex Barker,Raymond Burr,Doug McClure,Ida Lupino,Fernando Lamas,and Stuart Margolin.
ABC canceled this series on March 24,1970 due to bad ratings. On September 14,1970,the show that replaced "It Takes A Thief" was the short-lived science fiction drama "The Immortal"
Police Story (1973)
40 years ago,one of the greatest cop dramas on television premiered in 1973
This was one of the great police dramas in television history. This was one of the few cop shows of that era that dealt with the day to day activities of the average policeman and they weren't portrayal as your run-of-the-mill "good" cop nor that they weren't portrayed as average "superheroes". These were the men and women who risk their lives in order to wear the badge and to protect the citizens of the city. "Police Story" was that show and during its five-year run it was one of the highest rated series on television. "Police Story" portrayed a sheer dose of realism of the average cop and it went as far as going beyond the psychological concepts of the police officer whether on the job and the relationships that they faced on the street and at home. "Police Story" dealt with good cops and the cops that were corrupt and hostile behind the badge.
"Police Story" was an anthology television crime drama that was brainchild of former author and former Los Angeles Police Officer Joesph Wambaugh and represented a major step forward in the realistic depiction of police work and it featured some of the best acting ever depicted for network television. Creator Joesph Wambaugh along with producers Mel Swope and David Gerber(who serves as executive producer) brought along intense and sometimes riveting stories about previously untouched issues confronting police officers with issues such as job related stress,marriage,break-up,alcoholism,retirement,partner conflicts and even push the envelope for what was the boundaries for what was shown on network television like suicide and drug abuse. So many police dramas in later years like "Hill Street Blues","Cagney and Lacey","NYPD Blue","Law and Order",and even "The Shield" owe their roots to the ground breaking plots ans solid scripts that were the backbone of "Police Story". This series dealt with cops as real people with real problems that was added on with a mix of humor and reality in some of the episodes.
"Police Story" originally aired on NBC-TV for 95 episodes airing from its premiere episode on September 25,1973 until the series finale on May 28,1978 for five astounding seasons. Out of the 95 episodes that were produced,the series consisted of 84 hour long episodes,3 episodes that were 90 minutes in length,and 8 two hour episodes totaling 95 episodes in all in color. The setting for this series was in Los Angeles with most of the characters working under or one of the branches of the Los Angeles Police Department. The anthology format allowed the show to try out characters and settings for series development,and during its broadcast run,"Police Story" generated three spin-offs. An episode from Season 1,"The Gamble"(March 26,1974),starring Angie Dickinson,became the pilot for the successful "Police Woman" television series(also produced by David Gerber),that run on NBC for four seasons from 1974 to 1978. An episode from Season 2,"The Return of Joe Forrester"(which was a 90-minute episode that aired on May 6,1975),was developed into a weekly series starring Lloyd Bridges that aired from 1975 to 1977. Finally,an episode from Season 5,"A Chance To Live"(which was a two hour episode that aired on May 28,1978),was spun off into the short-lived series "Man Undercover" starring David Cassidy.
"Police Story" brought along some of the finest writers for this series ranging from Rick Husky to Donald Bellsario, Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts,Don Ingalls, Sy Salkowitz, Mark Rodgers, E. Jack Neuman, Robert L. Collins,to Ed Waters,Jerrold L. Ludwig, Stanley Kallis, Kenneth Pettus, Allan Balter, William Woodfield, Jonathan Christie, and Michael Mann.
Not to mention the best directors in Hollywood ranging from Virgil W. Vogel,Barry Crane, Richard Benedict,Gary Nelson,Barry Shear,David Friedkin, Leo Penn, E.W. Swickhamer, Joesph Pevney to other directors like Paul Wendkos, Oscar Rudolph, Jack Smight, Richard Donner, Ivan Dixon, Ralph Senesky, Alf Kjellin,Seymour Robbie,Don McDougall,to Corey Allen, Charles S. Dubin, Christian Nyby, and Lee H. Katzin along with future Hollywood director John Badham contribute to some of the astounding episodes.
This anthology series attracted the cream of Hollywood for their episodes and featured several stars depicting several different characters. The dynamic actors that appeared here ranged from Darren McGavin,Vic Morrow,Claude Akins,Tony LaBianco,Ralph Meeker,Ricardo Montalban,Mike Connors,along with Joe Santos,Glenn Corbett,Chuck Connors,Diane Baker,Michael Ansara,Norman Fell,Pernell Roberts,Tina Louise,Robert Stack,Robert Vaughn,Christopher George,Kim Darby,to Alex Rocco,Jan Michael-Vincent,William Shatner,Edward Asner,Robert Conrad,Gary Collins,Ina Balin to Sal Mineo,and even appearances from soul legends Issac Hayes and William "Smokey" Robinson in several episodes along with newcomers like James Woods,Harvey Keitel,Clifton Davis,Sylvester Stallone,and regulars like Don Meredith(at the height of his Monday Night Football Career),Scott Brady and John Forsythe. Even dramatic appearances from Frankie Avalon,Alex Rocco,Fred Williamson,Brock Peters,Eddie Egan,Bernie Casey,Eddie Albert,Robert Culp,James Gregory,Joe Santos,Howard Duff,Bo Svenson and James Farentino along with Earl Holliman.
The best episodes from Season 1: "Slow Boy","Requiem for an Informer", "The Ho Chi Minh Trail","Chain of Command","Countdown"(parts 1 and 2), "Cop In The Middle","The Wyatt Earp Syndrome","Chief","The Gamble".
The best episodes from Season 2: "Requiem for C.Z Smith","Robbery:48 Hours","Captain Hook"," A World Full Of Hurt","Explosion","Year of the Dragon"(parts 1 and 2),"Sniper","The Execution","Man In The Shadows","War Games","The Witness","The Return of Joe Forrester".
The best episodes from Season 3: "Odyssey of Death"(parts 1 and 2),"Breaking Point","Fifty Cents,First Half Hour-One Dollar and Seventy Five Cents All Day","The Other Side of the Fence","Vice: 24 Hours","Open City",and "The Test of Brotherhood".
The best episodes from Season 4: "Three Days To Thirty","The Other Side of the Badge","Nightmare on a Sunday Morning","Monster Manor","Spitfire","One of Our Cops Is Crazy","The Jar"(parts 1 and 2),and "Two Frogs On A Mongoose","Hard Rock Brown",and "The Malflores".
The best episodes from it's final season:"Pressure Point","Stigma", "Day of Terror,Night of Fear","The Broken Badge","No Margin for Error", "A Chance To Live","A Cry For Justice","Confessions of a Lady Cop",along with the explosive "River of Promises" and one of the most riveting episodes of the final season "Gladiator School"
40 Years Ago in 1973...one of the greatest cop shows of all time premiered starring the great Telly Savalas
Telly Savalas, a film,stage,and television actor whose career span more than four decades with television guest appearances ranging from "The Twilight Zone",to "The Virginian","Combat!","The Fugitive","Wagon Train",and "Hawaii Five-O" all the way to his Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the 1962 motion picture "Birdman of Alcatraz",to his roles in such movie classics as "The Greatest Story Ever Told",his villain role as Blofeld in the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" to box office movie gold with "The Dirty Dozen","Kelly's Heroes","Pretty Maids All In A Row","Battle of the Bulge",and "The Scalphunters",and "Terror Train",to name a few.
In 1973,Telly Savalas premiered in a weekly crime drama series that would change everything on television. On Tuesday October 24,1973,the television series "Kojak" premiered on CBS-TV with Telly Savalas as title character,New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. A total of 118 episodes were produced in color. When it premiered in 1973,the show was on Tuesday nights at 10:00e/9:00c where it took the time slot of "Cannon" which was moved one hour earlier for all of Season 1. From Season 2 onward,CBS moved the series from Tuesday nights to Sunday nights for the remainder of its entire run where it was placed at the 10:00e/9:00c time slot until its cancellation on March 18,1978. Out of the 118 episodes that this series produced,only 35 episodes were produced for Season 1. For Season 2 thru 5,a total of 83 episodes were produced. Filmed entirely on location in New York City and in some segments on the Hollywood backlot of Universal Studios.
The show was created by Abby Mann,who was an Oscar winning film writer for such classics as "Judgment at Nuremberg","A Child Is Waiting",and for "The Detective". Mann was also known for his best known work for such television drama anthologies as "Robert Montgomery Presents",and "Playhouse 90" Creator Abby Mann along with executive producers James Duff McAdams and James Moser set the television series "Kojak" around the daily operations of the New York City Police Department's Eleventh Precinct in Manhattan's South Patrol Borough with Telly Savalas as the tough and incorruptible Lieutenant Theo Kojak who have a knack of solving crimes and murders in his investigation of crimes with a tendency to break the rules to bring the criminals to justice. Theo not only had a sense of solving mysteries but Savalas also did it with a fashion statement with displaying a dark cynical wit to the role. In the early episodes of the series,and this was during its first season,Kojak is seen smoking thin brown More cigarettes. He substituted cigarettes for lollipops as an alternative where the lollipop made its debut in the Season 1 episode "Dark Sunday" that aired on December 12,1973:where Kojak lights a cigarette as he begins questioning a witness,but thinks better of it and sticks a lollipop in his mouth instead to cut his habit of smoking.
His supervisor was Capt. Frank McNeil(Dan Frazer). Later in the series McNeil was promoted to Chief of Detectives in Manhattan where Kojak is the commander of the Manhattan South Precinct's Detective Squad. His squad consists of Detective Bobby Crocker(Kevin Dobson),Detective Stavros(played by Telly Savalas' real-life brother George Savalas),who originally used the name "Demosthenes" in the screen credits. Others were Detective Saperstein(Mark Russell,Season 1),and Detective Rizzo(Vince Conti,Season 1)who all gave Kojak support. Roger Robinson appeared in 12 episodes of Season 1 as Detective Gil Weaver.
Only actors Telly and George Savalas along with Dan Frazer and Kevin Dobson remained throughout the show entire five-year run.
The guest star roster consisted of new talent where future up and coming actors like James Woods, Harvey Keitel,John Ritter,David Proval,to Paul Michael-Glaser,Christopher Walken,Danny Aiello,and Richard Gere,and Kathleen Quinlan where making their marks where as other guest stars ranging from Lynn Redgrave,Forrest Tucker,John Amos,Haywood Nelson, Eli Wallach,Shelley Winters,Ruth Gordon,Tina Louise,Blair Brown,Paul Benjamin,Robert Hooks,Sherman Hemsley, Janet DuBois,Esther Rolle,Hector Elizondo,Sheree North,along with Maud Adams,Paula Kelly,Isabel Sanford to Marla Gibbs,and Danny Thomas.
The scripts were for this series outstanding,especially in the first three seasons were pinned by Abby Mann,Jack Laird,Robert Foster,and Halston Wells with superb direction from the likes of Jeannot Szwarc, Joel Oilansky,Charles S. Dubin, Leo Penn, Christian Nyby and Russ Mayberry. Even Telly Savalas directed several episodes of this series.
Several episodes from this series as memorable classics from the premiere episode "A Siege of Terror",to "Dead On His Feet","Therapy In Dynamite","Last Rites For A Dead Priest",to "Halls of Terror","Web of Death","Cross Your Heart And Hope To Die","Lady In The Squadron",to the two-part episodes "A Shield of Terror",and "Kojak's Days" to others like "Where Do You Go When You Have Nowhere To Go",to the final episode of the series "In Full Command" as one of the great cop shows to come out of the 1970's. After the success of this series and 11 years after it was canceled by CBS, ABC-TV revised the series with Telly Savalas returning as Theo Kojak for a number of made for television mystery movies that ran from 1989 until 1992.
Kojak: The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973)
40 years ago,a made for television movie introduced one of the greatest cop shows in television history
"Kojak:The Marcus-Nelson Murders" was a made for television movie that premiered as a CBS Special Presentation on March 8,1973. It was based on the book by Selwyn Raab(who was a reporter for the New York Times)titled "Justice In The Back Room". Written by Abby Mann and Directed by Joesph Sargent,this Emmy-winning television drama was based on the 1963 Wylie-Hoffert "Career Girls Murders". The crime involves the brutal rape and murder of two young professional women in Manhattan. The movie serve as the basis as the pilot for the "Kojak" television series starring Telly Savalas. An African-American male by the name of Lewis Humes(Gene Woodbury)was arrested for a crime that he did not commit. To find the real killer,Lt. "Theo" Kojak conducts a second investigation with a different team of detectives(Ned Beatty, William Watson)along with his superior officer Sgt. Dan McCartney(Bruce Kirby). After illegally obtaining a confession,the police have identified the real suspect in the murders which exonerated the suspect and identified the culprit,who was a Puerto-Rican junkie.
"Kojak:The Marcus-Nelson Murders" was a gritty and intense police drama with a subtext focusing on institutionalized prejudice and the civil rights and suspects and witnesses. The opening and closing titles of the film emphasize that it was a fictional account of the events that led to the creation of "Miranda" rights by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966. As for the TV-Movie on which the series "Kojak" was based on,there was no other actor out there that did it better than the great Telly Savalas. The supporting cast features Chita Rivera,to Tol Avery, Robert Walden,Jose Ferrer,Val Bisoglio,Lorraine Gary and Allen Garfield,many of these stars would make guest appearances later on for the "Kojak" television series during the early-to-mid 1970's.
The Rebel (1959)
Commentary about "The Rebel"....Television's First "Teen Western" starring Nick Adams
Character actor Nick Adams was an unlikely choice for the lead on an action-packed television western series where the genre was dominated by "Gunsmoke","Wagon Train","Have Gun Will Travel","The Rifleman",and "Tales of Wells Fargo",and "Cheyenne" just to name a few were the stars that dominated the "western" genre were Ward Bond,Robert Horton,Chuck Connors,not to mention James Arness and Clint Walker. "The Rebel" came out when the television landscape was dominated by "westerns",and "family situation comedies" that ruled the late-1950's and early-1960's. The series portrays the adventures of a young Confederate Army veteran named Johnny Yuma(Nick Adams)who was an inspiring writer who kept details of his activities in his journal. Haunted by the memories of the Civil War,Yuma,in search of inner peace,roams the American West specifically the Texas Hill Country and the South Texas plains who also fights injustice wherever he finds it and takes care of manners in his own hands with a double-barreled sawed off shotgun. Whereas virtually all the others "westerns" consisted of work,romance and adventure,"The Rebel" was about Johnny Yuma "finding himself" and along the way his encounters with ruthless gunslingers,hostile villains,and the like while Johnny Yuma comes out of these episodes "victorious".
Out of the 76 episodes that this series produced,all in classic black-and-white,"The Rebel" had Nick Adams as not only the star of the series,but also was involved with the show's design,inception,and writing,not to mention serving as its creator and executive producer along with producer Andrew J. Fenady(who appeared twice in the series once as United States Army General Philip Sheridan in the episode "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox"). The series was one of the few that producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman,through their production company Goodson-Todman Productions did outside of their game show ventures. The other series that Goodson and Todman produced was another western called "Branded" starring Chuck Connors that ran for 23 episodes. "The Rebel" originally aired on ABC-TV from October 4,1959 until the series finale on June 18,1961. The show's sponsor was the Proctor & Gamble Company. This series was the first "teenage western" whose audiences were the younger crowd. The show's title song was done by Johnny Cash. It was grand western,but it ended up getting canceled with the powers that be over at ABC entered into a hostile relationship with the company that produced the series,ending up canceling one of their top rated shows. In 1962,"The Rebel" was picked up by NBC in repeats as a mid-season replacement where all 76 episodes were re-runs. After that the series went into syndication in repeats.
Gilligan's Island (1964)
All right,so TV Guide rated this sitcom as the top 50 worst television shows of all time,but "Gilligan's Island" does stands out as one of the most maligned sitcoms of the era in a decade that was full of fantasy-themed shows ranging from "My Favorite Martian","My Mother The Car", "I Dream of Jeannie","Bewitched","It's About Time","F-Troop","The Ugliest Girl In Town","Batman","Get Smart","Green Acres","The Beverly Hillbillies",and much more.
Created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz,and originally produced by United Artists Television in association with the CBS Television Network,the series starred Bob Denver(formerly of "Dobie Gillis")as the main character Gilligan along with Jim Backus,Russell Johnson,Alan Hale, Tina Louise,Dawn Wells and Natalie Schafer. It aired for three seasons at CBS from its premiere episode on September 26,1964 until the series finale on April 17,1967. Only Season 1 of "Gilligan's Island" was in black-and-white for 36 episodes that aired on Saturday nights after "The Jackie Gleason Show" at 8:30e/7:30c and had stiff competition against "Lawrence Welk". For Season 2 the network moved the show from Saturday nights to Thursday nights this time in color for 32 episodes where CBS put it at the 8:00e/7:00c time slot opposite "Daniel Boone",and "The Donna Reed Show". For the third and final season the show again moved from Thursday nights to Monday nights at the 7:30e/6:30c time slot for the remaining 30 episodes in color where it got clobbered opposite NBC's powerhouse hit "The Monkees" until its cancellation on April 17,1967(a total of 62 color episodes were produced from 1965 to 1967). Repeats of Season 3 aired from April 19,1967 until September 4,1967. The series ran for a total of 98 episodes.
The reason why "Gilligan's Island" remains a cult classic among the very few? For one,this series was really targeted for kids instead of adults and that what made it so great to this day in recycled repeats. It was based on sophisticated humor. It was silly,stupid and corny but the cast was lovable by all aspects. But speaking of the characters:
You have First-Mate Willy Gilligan(Bob Denver)who was just as clumsy and naive when getting into all sorts of predicaments with those who want to get off the island. Every episode had Gilligan getting into one hilarious situation after another. And for all 98 episodes!!!
Skipper Jonas Grumby(Alan Hale,Jr.) is everything that Gilligan isn't but perfectly capable of taking charge and keeping the rest of the castaways in line.
Thurston Howell III(Jim Backus)is the archetypal crass capitalist who doesn't do any work,and sits around all day talking about money and bonds knowing that his grand ambition is to defraud all the other castaways.
Eunice "Lovey" Howell(Natalie Schafer)is much the "heiress" as she can be.
Profession Roy Hinkley(Russell Johnson) is not the college professor,but in aspects a high school chemistry teacher,but is truly too smart for his own good. He is the only one that keeps the other alive on the island where he can take materials that are wherever resources are available on the island and whip it up in jiffy(imagine making a radio transmitter out of a coconut).
Ginger Grant(Tina Louise)always the glamorous movie star who can seduce the men for information about what goes on surrounding the island.
Mary Ann Summers(Dawn Wells)the naive farm girl from Kansas who can be classified as normal and the only castaway with "common sense" who also tends the island's crops and keeps herself entertained by listening to soap operas on the radio.
The success of "Gilligan's Island" enjoyed solid ratings during its original run,but then grew in popularity during decades of repeats in the 1970's and 1980's in national syndication. The success also spawned two animated Saturday Morning cartoons series("The New Adventures of Gilligan",and "Gilligan's Planet),and three made for TV-movies in he late-1970's and early-1980's,and there are talks of a big screen version based on the classic 1960's sitcom as well.
The High Chaparral (1967)
Outstanding series from the people who brought you "Bonanza"...The High Chaparral
This television series originally aired on NBC-TV on September 10,1967 as part of its Sunday Night Lineup of shows where it aired at 10:00e/9:00c right after the long-running "Bonanza",and faced stiff competition with "Mission:Impossible",and the "ABC Sunday Night Movie" for all 28 color episodes of Season One. Then from Season Two onward the network moved the series to a different time slot from Sunday nights to Friday nights for the remainder of its four-year run from September 20,1968 until the series finale on March 12,1971 where it aired at 7:30e/6:30c on its Friday night schedule right before another one of television's greatest programs,"The Name Of The Game",and the wildly popular science-fiction series "Star Trek". "The High Chaparral" was produced by David Dortort,the creator of the successful "Bonanza" television series where Dortort was the creator and executive producer that ran for 98 episodes all in color.
The show revolved around "Big" John Cannon(Leif Erickson),a rancher who lived in the Arizona Territory in the 1870's. He ran the ranch with his brother Buck Cannon(Cameron Mitchell),and son Billy "Blue Boy" Cannon (Mark Slade). Blue Boy's mother Annalee(Joan Caulfield)was killed in the first episode by an Indian arrow,and John Cannon then married Victoria Montoya(Linda Cristal),the daughter of the powerful neighbouring rancher Don Sebastian Montoya(played by Frank Silvera,who was one of several African-American actors who played "ethnic" roles for this series)in what is initially a marriage of convenience. His marriage to Victoria brought her brother Manolito Montoya(Henry Darrow) into the picture,and he also not came to live with the family but becoming a hired hand for the ranch. The stories for this series were impeccably written and directed by some of the best in the business while the series was filmed entirely on location. While doing much the same as "Bonanza" would do alternative between high drama and humor with the mix of action-packed and high adventure each week.
The guest stars that were on "The High Chaparral" were some of Hollywood's best ranging from William Windom to Adam West along with Scott Brady, Anthony Caruso, Chief Dan George, Roberto Contreras, Dennis Cross, John Dehner, Paul Fix, Ron Foster, Yaphet Kotto, to Connie Hines, Cesar Romero, William Conrad, Joanna Moore, Dub Taylor, Barry Sullivan and Morgan Woodward. Even Robert Loggia and Ricardo Montalban made guest appearances on this show. Several episodes of this series do stand out as sheer brilliance were the two-part pilot episode "Destination Tucson",and to "The Arrangement not to mention "The Firing Wall",and "Champion of the Western World","A Time To Laugh,A Time To Cry" not to mention the two-part episode "The New Lion of Sonara"
When this series was canceled on March 12,1971 after 98 episodes,the powers that be at NBC-TV moved the show around different time slots resulting in its cancellation where it went opposite two powerhouse shows "The Wild,Wild West",and "The Brady Bunch" were it got clobbered on that same Friday night schedule. On September 12,1971, the show that replaced "The High Chaparral" after four seasons was the Jack Webb produced drama "The D.A." starring Robert Conrad(formerly of "The Wild,Wild West" fame),and on January 22,1972,the show that replaced both "The D.A.",and "The High Chaparral" was the comedy "Sanford and Son".
The Kid Version of "Hogan Heroes"..."Recess" one of the great Disney animated shows of the late 1990's
Pictured if you will a group of elementary school students and their interaction with other classmates and teachers where most of the time planning and scheming others in the format of the 1960's television series "Hogan's Heroes"....The Disney animated series "Recess" was one of the best animated shows ever invested by Disney that ran for six seasons from August 31,1997 until November 5, 2001. A total of 65 episodes were produced(most of which in 128 segments). Created by the brainchild team of Paul Germain, Joesph Ansolabehere, and Mike Berenstain,"Recess" was basically a good premise of a series...a group of elementary school kids become close friends battling to overcome problems and not only enemies(but to plot and scheme against the upper authorities of the school including the principal of the school and certainly not least the the evil Miss Finster!)within the confines of the school,the playground(where the gang hatches up most of their plans),the odd field trip not to mention the daily doses of anything and everything that goes on within the confines of the school....really it's like Hogan's Heroes but in a school setting with kids! The kids themselves...you have T.J.(the undisputed leader of the group)in the Bob Crane role; Gretchen(the smart one)in the Larry Hovis role; Vince(the school jock)in the Ivan Dixon role,Spinnelli(the tough girl)would be a cross between Richard Dawson;Gus(was the mousey kid)in the Robert Clary role,and Mikey(the big kid with the soul of a poet). Then their ate the grown-ups that would be named Principal Prickly(in the Werner Klemperer Col. Klink role),and last but certainly not least the evil Miss Finster(in the John Banner Sgt. Schultz role). "Recess" was more wittier and more characters added than any other standard Disney fare,but it still packed a lot of Disney morals and lessons into each of the episodes. The series first aired as part of the ABC Kids Saturday Morning schedule from 1997 to 2001,and from there repeats aired on both the Disney Channel. The success of the series spawned the first of two features. In 2001,Disney released,"Recess:Schools Out" that became a runaway hit in theatrical release. It was followed by a direct-to-video second film titled "Recess:Miracle on Third Street" that same year. In 2003,a third entitled "Recess: Taking The Fifth Grade" were also direct-to-video. Repeats of the series continued after 2001 when UPN pick it up until September of 2004. The Disney Channel recycled all 65 episodes in repeats from 2006 until 2011.
The Beverly Hillbillies (1962)
50 Years Ago....One of the greatest characters ever created in the history of television premiered
50 years ago...one of the greatest characters ever presented in the history of television premiered on CBS-TV on September 26,1962. "The Beverly Hillbillies",upon its debut became one of the biggest hits of the 1960's,spanning a record nine years on the air,producing 274 episodes. Out of the 274 episodes that were produced only 108 episodes from Seasons 1 thru 4 were in classic black and white from September 26,1962 through June 16,1965. 166 episodes of "The Beverly Hillbillies" from Seasons 4 through 9 were in color from September 15,1965 through March 23,1971. Throughout the show's entire nine-year run only actors Buddy Ebsen(Jed Clampett), Irene Ryan(Granny),Donna Douglas(Elly Mae), Max Baer, Jr.(Jethro Bodine),and Raymond Bailey(banker Milburn Drysdale)remained throughout the series entire run. Nancy Kulp(who played Mr. Drysdale's assistant Jane Hathaway)appeared in only 246 episodes.
This series under the created brainchild of Paul Henning,who also served as executive producer along with Al Simon,about a poor backwoods family from the hills of either Missouri or Tennessee are transplanted to the wealth of Beverly Hills,California after striking oil on their land. Produced under Filmways productions,creator and writer Paul Henning made it "a fish out of water" of themed television shows that spawned two spin-offs that were also country cousin shows for CBS-TV,among them were "Petticoat Junction" in 1963,and in 1965 he reversed the rags to riches model for "Green Acres". The show paved the way for later culture-conflict programs such as "McCloud", "Carter Country","The Dukes of Hazzard", "Doc", "The Nanny",and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". The reason why "The Beverly Hillbillies" are still a favorite among some of the great TV shows is because the episodes in their own right were hilariously funny. Jed Clampett was a wise poor mountain man who used his good old country wisdom in saying anything that came rational. Granny Moses,the world's most Confederate widow was tough but rational too,but when she gets riled up with people who want to tested her,when she has a jug of moonshine in one hand and the shotgun in the other. Jethro had the be one of the dumbest characters in the history of television..was the village idiot who basically got by on a sixth grade education,and then there was Elly Mae,the sexy tomboy who was gorgeous on one side and a fighting wildcat on the other. Add to this the cheap and opportunistic banker Milburn Drysdale and his voice of reason while Jane Hathaway(Mr. Drysdale's assistant)was just as normal as the rest of them,but later on turns out to be as crazy as the rest of them,especially in some of the episodes where she turns her vixen charms to seduce Jethro. Add in a variety of characters including Cousin Pearl(Bea Benaderet), Mrs. Drysdale(Harriet MacGibbon),and other zany characters and you have one hell of a funny sitcom that remains hilarious today as it was when audiences saw it back in 1962.
Its no wonder "The Beverly Hillbillies" was ranked among the top twelve most watched series on television for seven of its nine seasons,twice ranking the number one series of the year(It went straight to Number One three weeks prior to its debut in 1962). Several episodes do stand out as vintage classics,but this was a series that still brings on the laughs! The final episode on March 23,1971 was an end to an era of classic TV shows that were brilliant during the 1960's.